Wakefield district school placed in special measures now rated ‘good’ by Ofsted

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Students and staff at a Wakefield primary school once put into special measures by Ofsted are celebrating after turning its fortunes around.

In its previous inspection, when known as Havercroft Academy on Cow Lane, the school was rated ‘requires improvement’ by inspectors.

Among the weak areas, they criticised pupils’ poor progress in reading, writing and maths, and the lack of subject knowledge among some teachers.

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Just two years before that, when called Havercroft Junior, Infant and Nursery School, it was judged to be in special measures.

Staff and pupils at the schoolStaff and pupils at the school
Staff and pupils at the school

Inspectors said then that bullying was rife and staff absence was high.

They added that four out of five pupils did not reach the expected standard in maths and a third went backwards in reading and writing.

But the school – now known as Outwood Primary Academy Newstead Green and led by headteacher Lindsey Corbett – has improved since it joined Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT) in 2018.

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In its first inspection since becoming part of OGAT, Ofsted said pupils at the school are “kind and considerate” and that their work is “of a consistently high standard”.

The school ensures that “the success of every pupil is a priority”.

Ofsted concluded that the academy has Outstanding leadership and management and is “good” overall.

They added that the turnaround had been driven by the “relentless determination” of leaders at all levels “to provide the best education for every child”, and that “this ambition permeates to all staff”.

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Inspectors said: “This is a warm and inclusive school. Pupils are kind and considerate towards each other.

"They help other pupils to do their best. They play well with each other and enjoy the positive relationships between themselves and staff.”

“Leaders have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour and conduct. There is aclear behaviour policy, which is well known and applied consistently across the school.

“Leaders have designed and sequenced an ambitious curriculum to ensure that all pupils have the best education. They are clear about the important concepts that pupils need to know.

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"Some subjects, such as design and technology, are exceptionally well planned and delivered. As a result, pupils’ work is of a consistently high quality.

"Staff are overwhelmingly positive about the coaching and mentoring they receive.”

“Governors and trustees are extremely knowledgeable about the school. They have high expectations of leaders, whom they have successfully developed. The success of every pupil is a priority.”

Lindsey Corbett, principal of Outwood Primary Academy Newstead Green, said: “I am so delighted for everyone connected with the school.

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"It has taken a huge amount of work by everyone to reach this point – our superb staff, parents, pupils and governors, and our academy trust.

“Today’s success is truly the result of a huge team effort. We won’t rest on our laurels though and will continue to work hard every day to build on all the strengths the school has to make it even better.”

Sir Martyn Oliver, the chief executive Officer of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said:

“Congratulations to everyone at Outwood Primary Academy Newstead Green. When the trust took the school on four years ago, there was so much that needed to be done.

"I am very proud of what they have all achieved and look forward to seeing the school going from strength to strength.”